Monday, March 15, 2010

258. Three Floyds Gumballhead Wheat Beer

El numero cinco from Three Floyds. Not that we’re keeping track or anything. Prior investments of our time include Robert the Bruce, Dreadnaught, Black Sun Stout and Blackheart IPA. While we didn’t know it at the time, this beer was purchased illegally—it had been bootlegged into Ohio. Nothing like asking the wrong question in a room full of beer geeks. This particular beer also tastes a slight bit older—it is not as zesty as Gumballheads past.

Gumballhead has a citrusy, grainy, and lightly hoppy nose with a hazy gold color and medium white head. There is not a lot of flavor in the front—we taste small amounts of grassy or grainy malt flavor before moving into a bitter hoppiness mixed with low levels of floral and citrus hop flavor, and finishing slightly spicy with some bitterness and very clean, especially for a wheat beer. As well, there are none of the slightly sour flavors sometimes found in American wheat beers. Gumballhead is medium to light bodied with a crisp and dry mouthfeel and medium carbonation. While somewhat aggressive in the hop profile for a wheat beer, Gumballhead is very drinkable and most certainly enjoyable. As Elli informed me, “if it were fresh and on tap and in the summer time, I would like it at least 10% percent more.” I do love the scientific certainty of that formula. As well, the disgruntled smoking cat of the label is stone cold awesome—easily a Top 10 Best Label contender.

From the bottle: “Red wheat and boatloads of Amarillo hops give this American wheat brew a lemony finish. Slight haze in the bottle is yeast added for bottle-conditioning.”

From the Three Floyds website: “An American Wheat Ale, Gumballhead is named in honor of the underground comic book cat created by Rob Syers. Initially a seasonal summer beer, now brewed year round due to demand. This beer helped redefine American Wheat Beers. Brewed with Amarillo Hops and a generous portion of American red wheat, Gumballhead has a complex hop aroma with notes of grapefruit, lemon zest, marmalade and peach. These flavors combined with low bitterness make Gumballhead a refreshing American Wheat Beer that doesn’t suck.”

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 28


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